"I don't see Morgan Stanley taking huge risk in the market," said Christopher Whalen, managing director of Institutional Risk Analytics. "I think they're still trying to digest Smith Barney and that's job #1 going forward for maybe the next three years."
Morgan Stanley and Citigroup formed the brokerage joint venture Smith Barney in June 2009. Last week, Morgan Stanley announced a number of executive changes across its global wealth management and fixed income divisions.
On the wealth side, Greg Fleming, 47, a former Merrill Lynch president who already led Morgan Stanley's asset management business, will also become president of Global Wealth Management. He replaces Charles Johnston, president of Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, who leaves the firm at the end of this year.
Morgan Stanley has a 51 percent stake in the joint venture and CEO James Gorman also acts as chairman of the unit.
Although Whalen didn't reveal his position, Joe Terranova likes the Smith Barney integration. The chief market strategist at Virtus Investment Partners expects revenue growth through 2011 and would be a buyer of the stock ahead of earnings.
Carter Worth, chief market technician at Oppenheimer, said he's also a buyer ahead of earnings. He noted the stock is "judged to be bottoming out, a bearish to bullish reversal."
While MS has recently lagged the market, Worth said it's now starting to catch up. The reference point is the April high of $32.50, he said. Worth thinks it could go to that level.
Earlier this week, Morgan Stanley saw strong buyers of the Jan. and Feb. 29 calls, reports Scott Nations, president and chief investment officer of NationsShares.
"So options traders are expecting a rally, but not a zoom rally because we also saw some sellers of the Jan. 30 calls," noted Nations. "So when it comes to Morgan Stanley based on the options activity, I like it, but I don't love it."
TAKE YOUR POSITION: EBAY
The next test for technology stocks could be when eBay reports quarterly earnings results after Wednesday's closing bell, reports CNBC's Melissa Lee.
Even though the stock has stalled in the past few months, Youssef Squali said the EBAY could soon turn around. Squali, an Internet analyst at Jefferies, noted its PayPal business continues to do well and he expects it to grow by 20 percent in the next several years.
In the past few years, eBay's Marketplaces business has been "a real issue" for the company, Squali said. Its gross merchandise value recently turned positive, though. Squali expects GMV growth to remain postive, however, in the low single digits.
"If you can hold the stock for the next 6 to 12 months, I think you [could] make money," Squali said. "But bear in mind the fact the stock is up about 70 percent in the last 16 to 18 months."
Within the Internet group, Squali's favorite name is Google . Its valuation remains attractive and he thinks the upside is "significant."
POPS & DROPS